Tag Archives: Tour

Pratt Contemporaries Happy Hour @ Central Library Branch Tonight

Remember the first time you saw Ghostbusters? If you’re like us you were about 5 or 6 and you were riveted to the screen right from the opening credits. You could not wait for them to catch a ghost. And the first legitimate ghost hunt they went on in that movie was at the main branch of the New York Public Library.

Little five year old Chop was standing on the couch at that point, action figures in hand and yelling “I ain’t afraid of no ghost.” And when they made their way down into the depths of the basement and all those stacks where nobody ever gets to go- where the whole of human wisdom is collected and gathering dust, we just kept thinking: Damn that’s cool.

You never know what you might find in the sealed off parts of a library.

Ever since then we’ve been waiting for our chance to poke around in the cavernous recesses of a giant municipal library. Tonight, that chance has arrived. The Pratt’s Central Branch is hosting a happy hour and tour this evening from 6-8 pm.

We’ve always been of the opinion that pound-for-pound, Baltimore stacks up quite favorably to NYC. That’s true of central library branches as well. There are hours upon hours of exploration at the Cathedral Street branch as just an ordinary visitor. Tonight’s tour will be guided by the people who know the Pratt best- its librarians, and represents a chance for a rare behind-the-scenes look at some of the most interesting and historic materials in their collection.

Plus, there’s FREE BEER. They don’t call it happy hour for nothing, and beer and wine will be made available to visitors during the tour. Perhaps as rare as some of the materials on view is the chance to talk in a library, and there will be some of that too. A great chance to mix and mingle with fellow readers, tonight’s event is courtesy of the Pratt Contemporaries. Not your grandma’s library boosters, the Pratt Contemps are the same group of book lovers who’ve brought you events like the Black and White Ball and Brunch with Ira Glass. You can even follow them on Twitter.

Of course, if you want to take it a step further you can join for yourself, too.

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Filed under Baltimore Events, Books and Literature

The Queers, Sick Sick Birds @ Black Cat Tonight

We’ve never been very big into the Queers. There was a point in time, early high school, when we should have been a huge Queers fan. It was all there on paper: they’ve got songs about drinking, girls, farts, pranks, the suburbs, hating school, etc, etc. When we were a 15 year old suburban terror getting kicked out of the mall, engaging in minor vandalism, trying to make out with girls in parking lots and being as misanthropic as we could before curfew we should have been really into the Queers.

We never were though. Every time someone mentioned the Queers, it was just a reminder to listen to some other band. The Dead Milkmen, NOFX, Screeching Weasel… we liked a lot of bands better than the Queers. That said, it’s not like we don’t like them at all, and these days there’s a distinct lack of lighthearted pop punk goofball music in our collection. The Queers are at least better than watching TV, and for $12 at the Black Cat backstage, it’s hard not to want to go.

The Queers play the Black Cat tonight. 8:30 doors.

Opening up tonight is Baltimore garage/punk supergroup Sick Sick Birds who we’ve recommended a bunch of times before, and who have recently been in the studio recording some new stuff. Presumably, they will be playing some of said new stuff, so if you can’t make it to DC tonight you should at least come out to their next show this Saturday at Metro Gallery. According to that link, it’s their last one before Melissa goes on maternity leave from the band. Yeah. That’s a thing that old punks do apparently. Welcome to the new reality.

Also playing tonight are Dutch punk rockers The Apers who are touring with the Queers, as well as being their Asian Man Records label-mates. These guys are another punk band that sounds fourteen and looks 40, so they ought to fit right in. Hide your patches, hide your spikes, AND hide your Docs. At the Black Cat tonight they’re punking errybody.

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Black Cat is located at 1811 14th Street NW in Washington DC. Metro accessible from green/ yellow lines to U St/ Cardozo Station.

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Filed under DC Events, shows

Dangerous Curves Ahead: Burlesque on the Go-Go @ Creative Alliance Tonight

What’s going on tonight Baltimore? Are any of the bands we like playing? No? Anyone opening a gallery maybe? No? Is there some sort of charitable benefit or political cause in which we can involve ourselves? No? Nothing coming to mind? Guess we’ll just have to go down to the Creative Alliance and see more beautiful women shake and strut and tell bawdy jokes. It’s a hard life sometimes.

Dangerous Curves turns your knuckles white at the Creative Alliance tonight. 8 pm.

The Dangerous Curves Ahead Tour is, as far as we know, the first of its kind with five of New York’s biggest burlesque names sharing the stage with local acts in over 20 cities from coast to coast (saving the best for last, of course). They’re hosted here in Charm City by our own Trixie Little and Monkey who are worth the $12 admission all on their own.

The Chop had a great time the last time we went to see burlesque, and judging by the sparse crowd in attendance due to the holiday weekend, we’re guessing you missed it, so we recommend getting down to the east side tonight. The Patterson may not be Alice Dean’s, but it’ll do!

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Creative Alliance at The Patterson is at 3134 Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown. 410-276-1651 $12, $10 for members. 8 pm.

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Filed under Baltimore Events, Other

The Chop Aboard the Liberty Ship SS John W Brown

“I’m on a boat!”

Not really. I’m actually on a ship. But if you want to get your little Foursquare badge-y thing, this would be a hell of a way to do it.

Today the Chop is visiting what is probably Baltimore’s most interesting and least visited attraction, the Liberty Ship SS John W Brown.

Length: 441' Beam:57' Draft: 27 Displacement: 14,245 tons

How do we know it’s the least visited? Because it’s really, really hard to visit. We know. We’ve tried to go aboard about four times already. The all-volunteer run ship is only open to visitors Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 am until 4 pm, when and if she’s at her berth (as she is still operational and sometimes moves for tours, maintenance, goodwill port calls in other cities, etc).

Until this weekend, we didn’t even know she was open on Wednesdays. A trip down to the docks at 2 pm found the crew of the Brown filing down the gangway and raising it against visitors early, apparently just because they felt like it.

Engine: 19' x 21'/ 270,000 lbs./ 76 rpm max./ 2500 hp tunring an 18' 4 blade prop

But today is the day. No more fooling around. The Chop is going to get up and out of bed as early as possible and go down to Canton to see the ship, which is not only important to the history of WWII, but is an important piece of Baltimore history, as it was built at Sparrows Point.

Sparrows Point built 385 liberty ships, some in as little as 28 days each.

The full story of the liberty ships and the John W Brown can be found at the Project Liberty Ship website. The Brown is one of only two surviving liberty ships in the world, the other being the Jeremiah O’Brien in San Francisco (not to be confused with the later-built victory ships of a different design).

Armament: Three 3-inch/50 caliber guns; one 5-inch/38 caliber gun; eight 20mm guns.

We’ve actually been lucky enough to see the Brown steaming out of the harbor, and it was a fascinating site. We can’t wait to climb the gangway, ring the bell on the forecastle, stroll the quarterdeck, check out the view from the bridge, see what’s cooking in the galley, and gape and gawp at the authentic triple expansion steam engine down below and the .50 caliber guns on the fantail.

Yeah. The Chop’s a bit of a boat nerd.

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The John W Brown is berthed at pier 1 on Clinton Street in Canton, south of the First Mariner tower. Parking is available inside the wharf building on the dock itself. The gangway is generally down Wed. and Sat. at 10 am. Admission is free but donations are accepted.

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Filed under A Day in the Life of the Chop